The Story Behind My White Slipcovered Ikea Ektorp Sofa

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We live 8 hours from Chicago, 7 hours from Dallas...those are the two closest Ikea stores to my location in the midwest. (I do have it on my radar that St. Louis could maybe get an Ikea...???). The reason I love Ikea so much is that they are affordable. I researched sofas for weeks, as I've done before, and even with the shipping costs, my new white slipcovered sofa is still cheaper than if I bought something locally. And locally doesn't include a white slipcover. I know Ikea is not American made, which I am all for, but it is made from sustainable wood product etc. If I had $2000+ to buy a couch made in North Carolina I certainly would...but I don't have that cash on hand.
Anyway, I've always had a love affair with Ikea and I make it a stop-off point in any trip to L.A. - have to go even if we don't purchase anything...smell the cardboard boxes and the Swedish meatballs and enjoy the European ambiance. If you have been to Ikea you will know what I'm talking about. Plus their coffee is really strong and tasty.

So I took the plunge and ordered furniture ONLINE from Ikea. Anything ONLINE can be scary if you haven't ordered from that company and you don't know what to expect. And Ikea's online site leaves a lot to be desired as far as information about what will happen. And you know us gals, we want to know every single detail about everything, right?

Here's how it went:

Placed all the items I wanted in the shopping cart on July 2nd. Went to place order and it said that there was an item out of stock. It did not say which item. Smarty pants that I am, I went through each item and hit purchase and it was the sofa that was out of stock. This didn't bother me as I knew they'd just had a huge sofa sale.
Next day I tried to order again and it went through. I immediately received an email with a few details. Not enough though. The email said I could expect my order to be delivered around July 30th. Shipping cost was $350 total for about 8 pieces of furniture. I think that is a good price considering they are driving everything to my house in a semi.

I wasn't sure how it would all work out...would they bring it into my house (I've ordered stuff before and they wouldn't bring it in the house!)? Would I be home when they did arrive? How long would it really take?
I went to and signed in to their forums to seek out answers. There were none. Strangely. Maybe no one cares to leave all the details there...

One week later I received an email stating that my order had shipped (left its destination). And that I would receive another email with more info.

I kept wondering where it shipped from and what company was doing the hauling. They don't tell you that.

The company is STI. They ship stuff for lots of companies.

The shipping invoice I received said that it came from New Jersey. Not sure if it all actually came from there though.
I received three of these emails before I got a phone call from the shipper stating that they would be at my house between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday. I was ready! The order was to be delivered in half the time they told me originally. Not bad.

They arrived at my home at approximately 2:15 p.m. The two guys did not show me a delivery slip or an invoice or anything. They didn't ask my name. They just started getting out pallets and bringing stuff into my home.
I noticed items that I hadn't ordered. I brought this to the attention of one of the men and he mumbled and went out and told the other guy. The boxes they'd brought in had another person's name and address on them (just down the street). So they reloaded and then unloaded more stuff.
I had a nice pile of boxes by the time they were done and I double checked to make sure it was all correct. The guys don't work for Ikea and have no idea what anything is, so I wouldn't have asked them anything about it anyway. Luckily it was all there...I signed the slip, gave them some ice water and they were on their way. I didn't tip them, but wondered if I should've. I mean, I just paid $350 for this...what do you think?
It took me an hour to put the couch together. It comes in a flat packed box, if you can believe that! It's amazing what you can do with some ingenuity! In the photo below the sofa is in the biggest box on the left.

Vacuum packed sofa cushions are stuffed into the back of the sofa...don't forget to remove before putting the back up. 

Here's what it looks like before putting the cover on the sofa. You can see the black hinges where the back actually flips forward for shipping. Amazing! 

So my experience turned out quite positive. I am hoping to order again and purchase some matching chairs and probably some more furniture. In this order I got:
If you want to purchase some items to be delivered my suggestion would be to go in with a friend or two and split the shipping costs. If you can each get a few things for $100 each for shipping then you're golden!

Update - 6 Months Later
The sofa is doing great. I've washed the cushion covers a few times...and the body once. Very easy to get off and on. I did put them in the dryer on a low setting an put them on again slightly damp. No shrinkage YET.
I'm getting tons of great comments when people come over, how cute etc...although no one understands why I would choose a white couch with two active kids, a dog, two rabbits, and a husband who won't take his shoes off.
Why White, Different Dog?

Are you wondering "Why White?" White furniture allows my eye to rest. I'm extremely (ahem) anal about eye won't stop moving if there's too much color or something out of place. With white you can bleach it if it gets a stain. With other colors you can't just throw it in the wash with a bit of bleach and it'll look brand new. Plus white goes with EVERYTHING! I can change pillows, rugs etc. and get a whole new look.
I've had a white couch in my life for over 10 years and I definitely think slipcovers (esp with kids and dogs) is the way to go. Plus I can get a new cover for under $100 if I want to replace it. Affordable for sure!

Hope you enjoyed this account of my Ikea online ordering...if you have any questions feel free to ask!

How It Looks Today (see more of my creative house projects click on Different Dog's Cottage Inspiration)
My living room featuring the Ikea Ektorp slipcovered sofa


  1. Hi! I'm a reader in the UK. Can I ask how comfortable the sofa is? I also live miles away from an Ikea store but I love the idea of changing up the covers for different seasons and after recent back surgery I long for a comfy sofa I can curl up in!

  2. Hello daffodil! Thanks for your question. I cannot say that the sofa is super comfy. It is sturdy and has very good is not cushy or cozy. I am hoping to achieve a cushy sofa when I've saved $2000 plus for a Pottery Barn or Mitchell Gold sofa. I do suggest though, that Ikea has many other styles that might be more in the cozy line. I really chose this style because it is classic and fits in great with my home. Good luck!

  3. Do you know offchance how big the box is? I'm wondering if it will fit into a Corolla with the backseats down.

    1. Max, I don't know the exact specs but the base of the couch fit perfectly in the box. The base of the couch measures 80 inches. Hope this helps. The arms are not attached when you purchase. I should have taken a picture of it when I opened the box. Hope I'm I'm doubting my memory. Good luck.

  4. Thanks for the great review. Planning ahead with further house moves and getting it down a relatively small staircase; can you tell me if will be possible to disassemble / take it apart? Is there anything in the assembling of an Ektorp that seems irreversible?

  5. Can I ask if you think it can be taken apart again once it's been put together? Is there anything in the assembly that looks like it's irreversible? Thanks - Tim

    1. Nothing is irreversible about the can definitely take it apart and fold it back up. However, you won't be able to smash the cushions that small again...

  6. Thanks for all the info! Can't wait for my couch to be delivered today!!!

  7. I have read that some people have had issues with a strong chemical odor from their sofa. Did you have a smell issue and if so how long did it last?

    1. I only noticed a slight "new" smell when I opened up the bags...I wouldn't have called it could always wash the slipcover immediately and then you wouldn't smell anything.

  8. pants that I am, I went through each item and hit purchase and it was the sofa that was out of stock. This didn't bother me as I knew they'd just had a huge ...

  9. Hi, I was wondering how well the book cases hold up? Do you store heavy books in them or just light weight decorations? I am thinking about rounding out my furniture collection with ikea and would love to know how well they hold up. Thanks.